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My Father's Dragon (My Father's Dragon, #1)
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My Father's Dragon (My Father's Dragon #1)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  24,534 Ratings  ·  1,106 Reviews
Elmer Elevator (narrator's father as a boy) runs away with an old alley cat to rescue a flying baby dragon being exploited on a faraway island. With the help of two dozen pink lollipops, rubber bands, chewing gum, and a fine-toothed comb, Elmer disarms the fiercest of beasts on Wild Island.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Yearling (first published 1948)
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Jenny It's a cute book. However, the boy calls his mother rude for asking the boy to not bring home a stray cat. And then he runs away from home. So if…moreIt's a cute book. However, the boy calls his mother rude for asking the boy to not bring home a stray cat. And then he runs away from home. So if you're concerned about introducing negative ideas, then I wouldn't recommend it to very young children. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dawn Marie
Jul 13, 2012 Dawn Marie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kiddos
In the third grade, I met Mrs. Palombi, my favorite teacher ever. She taught us how to churn butter (you sit in a circle, pass around a bottle of heavy cream that everyone takes a turn shaking up, and spread the resulting curds on Ritz crackers), she brought a cotton candy machine to the Fall Festival (during the summer, she ran a beach shack that sold summer treats) and let you “roll your own” as big as you wanted, and every holiday she’d present us with little pins she crocheted herself to com ...more
Feb 23, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annabelle give it 4 Stars.

I thought it was a good book.
Because it was fun.
What made it fun?
The pictures, I loved looking at them.
What else?
The words. I liked reading them to get a chore done.
Would you recommend this book to others to read?
Yeah, I think other people would like this book.
Like who?
I think Adelyn and Trinity might like it.
What would they like about it?
I think they would sort of things some things would be a little silly.
What was silly?
Like, lions using brushes and combs and get
Casey ~Kaleidoscopic Killer of the Deep~
Overall, it was a lovely enough book that it is worth a read, but I don't think this is one we will revisit.

Both of my littles sat while we read this one over a few nights. It's not as long as some of the other books we've read so my three year old was able to stick around for most of it. This wasn't a favorite but they did stay engaged. I had heard such wonderful things about the story that I think I was expecting something a little different.
Plus a dragon... I mean, that's gotta be a win right
Drew Graham
Jun 16, 2015 Drew Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me
I loved this book as a kid, and I seem to recall it was the first chapter book I ever read. (Upon my discovery of the Table of Contents, I thought its purpose was so that you could go there and decide which chapter you wanted to read instead of having to read through the whole thing.) Years later I remember having loved it, but very little about the story or the characters, so I decided to give this short Newberry winner a quick read, and it was very quick indeed. Told from the point of view of ...more
Apr 02, 2013 Karissa rated it really liked it
I got a copy of this book to read with my five year old son. It is a very fun and clever children’s read with some great lessons and some wonderful illustrations.

When Elmer Elevator hears about the plight of a poor overworked baby dragon from an old neighborhood cat he is determined to save the dragon. He travels to Wild Island and, through a series of crazy events, saves the dragon from the animals keeping it prisoner.

This book was first published in 1948 and I am amazed at how well it has aged
Feb 13, 2011 Jasmine rated it really liked it
Shelves: american
okay so recently I haven't read any real books. I apologize but I'm fucking inundated in research on the difference between sex typed traits and sex roles and I"m going crazy enough as it is. I will start actually reading again soon I just needed a moment of calm to get through the storm

recently I've started a habit of rereading. I mean are books as good as I thought? I mean I was historically quite a little idiot (just wait till I reread nothing but the truth). Well this book is. I think a lot
Robin Gaphni
May 22, 2009 Robin Gaphni rated it it was amazing
My Father's Dragon is a perfect first chapter book to read to your four or five year old because there are pictures on almost every page. The chapters are short and simple, and it moves along at a nice pace. It’s action based, which is what makes it so attractive to younger readers. I think it has special appeal to kids who don’t like to sit still for a book. Both of my sons and my daughter count it as one of their favorite books from childhood.

Briefly, it’s the story of Elmer Elevator, a nine-y
RB Love
Feb 06, 2009 RB Love rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2009
Finally got through My Father's Dragon with the restless Meteor. He's more of an action kind of guy as opposed to a boy who can be read to. He'd rather wrestle.
Good first chapter book all around, I suppose. A little boring really. The most interesting thing about it, I thought, was that it's had such a long shelf life, (1948), without my ever having heard of it, (my older boys said that they thought they remembered their 3rd grade teacher reading it to them in class) and that it was written by R
The first book really worried 4-year-old Logan. He didn't understand why the animals were being so mean to the baby dragon and each chapter brought new worries about what the animals would do to the boy. But we'd talk at the beginning of each chapter about how the boy had everything he needed in his bag to deal with situations that came up and then we'd try to guess which of his random collection of stuff he'd need. He liked the second book better. The third book was brought more worries about w ...more
Tayler Boswell
Jul 21, 2016 Tayler Boswell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
One of my all-time favorite children's books.
Oct 27, 2015 Kristen rated it really liked it
A great first chapter book for little ones! My 4.5 year old & I both loved it & couldn't wait for bedtime to read another chapter.
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents; Children
Recommended to Carmen by: Alice
Elmer saves an alley cat and feeds her for weeks. In return, the cat - upon hearing Elmer's wish to fly - tells him about a baby dragon that is being held captive on the far off Wild Island.

Elmer sneaks out of his house one night with chewing gum, two dozen pink lollipops, a package of rubber bands, black rubber boots, a compass, a toothbrush and a tube of tooth paste, six magnifying glasses, a very sharp jackknife, a comb and a hairbrush, seven hair ribbons of different colors, an empty grain b
If you're looking for a chapter book for a child that is just beginning to have a chapter-book length attention span, this is a great one to start with. The chapters are very short with several illustrations per chapter. We don't ever even learn the name of our narrator - we only know that the main character in our story is the narrator's dad. His father has all kinds of adventures when he goes to a wild island to help rescue a dragon.

Luckily, he brought along his backpack, in which he packed al
Aug 09, 2016 Heidi rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
Excellent choice for an introductory read-aloud. I am trying to transition my daughter to picture-less read-alouds, so we can start digesting some exciting favorites. But, she's been on a diet of picture books and loses interest quickly. I was stunned when she wanted me to keep going with this story. I forced a stop for a couple hours (mostly to reinforce the idea of a book that can be read in multiple sittings), but she was more eager to finish than I.

It's a story of kindness and ingenuity with
Laura Harrison
Aug 17, 2015 Laura Harrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books ever. It is a trilogy. Loved every one of them. Very cool illustrations.
Shannon Cahill
Jun 09, 2016 Shannon Cahill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mommy, liam, evan, caden, quinn, rylan
Fun little book! Kids Loved it!
Jul 28, 2012 Jenn rated it it was amazing
This is another children's book that I read to Jack. We were packing for the beach when I started it...well, Jack did not want me to put it down. We would have to do a task and then read another chapter. We actually read the book in one day, which was exciting to me because he has never been so captivated by a longer book before. Since I can relate to the feeling of being desperate to know what "happens next", I willingly gave into his wishes and kept reading!
Shira and Ari Evergreen
This book features an exciting liberation story and an egalitarian friendship between a little human boy and a dragon. When I first read it I don't think I yet had the understanding to see it as a story of oppression overcome through solidarity, but that's how I see it today, and I don't doubt that it had an impact on my social consciousness.
Feb 09, 2013 Paulina rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books from when my kids were little. THis is the first chapter book that they read. Each chapter was self contained. The hero is able to use his intelligence and creativity to solve the problems that face him. Highly recommend it as a way to get kids hooked on reading...
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 25, 2009 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-1001
Lovely little adventure story of
boy who travels to an island and
meets many intriguing creatures.
The story never feels contrived.
Jan 25, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: readharder2016
Read aloud to my son before I even remembered it was on my to-read kids book list. Super adorable, and we both enjoyed it. My three year old has excellent taste, and I'm so stoked that he can already handle chapter books!
Nov 04, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
My Father’s Dragon was written by Ruth Stiles Gannett. This is a fantasy fiction book that has also won n award; it is a Newberry Honor Book. The book starts off when Elmer Elevator is a child but is told through the voice of his son. Elmer Elevator hears about a baby dragon being held on Wild Island from a stray cat he took in. He decides to go and run away from home and rescue it. He stows away on a ship and manages to seek onto the Island of Tangerina, which was right next to Wild Island. Elm ...more
Demetrius Rogers
Jan 17, 2016 Demetrius Rogers rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-kids, fiction
Cute little story. I was looking for a chapter book that would appeal to my 7 year old boy, and this was recommended to me. And he and I liked it pretty well. It was a bit far fetched. I generally don't like works that are just weird. And this was a little that. But, the story had coherence. And it kept my sons attention. He even laughed out loud through most chapters. And if father and son are having a good time, then I think it's a win. And having daily story time with my kids, I love when a b ...more
Erik Zweigle
Feb 26, 2016 Erik Zweigle rated it really liked it
We listened to this ~45 minute audiobook for my son's entertainment on the drive to the grandparents house. He had never had the story read to him before hand. I noticed he didn't get into this story as well as others we had listened to on other trips. I think it may be because he had no point of reference to remember artwork on pages. Either way, the story was good and I would recommend it to other kindergarten to first grade aged children.
Clyde Ruth
Feb 10, 2016 Clyde Ruth rated it it was amazing
When I fist became a librarian, this was my FAVORITE book to read aloud to 3rd graders. There was one class that always had trouble settling down--but NOT during this book!! they got ready to listen quickly, so they could find out what happened next!! AR said it was 6th grade reading level--but it is an easy read!!
Megan B
Mar 04, 2009 Megan B rated it it was amazing
We loved this book. This is about a boy who goes on an adventure to rescue a dragon and has to outwit the many jungle animals who want to eat him or thwart his mission. Fantastic.

This book was well written, creative, and funny, the adventure fast moving and and simple. I enjoyed this book as much as both of the kids and I hope the other two books are as good.

What I didn't like:
I never like it when little boys disobey their parents or run away (you know, like almost all children's adventure sto
Jul 03, 2014 sprout rated it really liked it
I missed this gem as a kid. My own boys laughed aloud a few times and begged for more. We'll be going on in the series for sure. It was well-written and entertaining. Unlike some other reviewers, I was not taken with the narration. I thought the repetitious use of "my father" was a bit distracting and annoying. One of my boys actually asked me why I kept saying it as I was reading. I had to stop and explain. He then asked why the narrator didn't just call him Elmer. So for the rest of the story, ...more
Aug 20, 2014 Alison rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-with-wesley

I think this is an adorable children's story and I love, love the illustrations. Also, the naming of the characters and islands. I love it. There are some good lessons tucked into the story and Elmer certainly is a clever little boy. Reading this with Wesley and seeing him react chapter by chapter really helped me to appreciate it more than I would have on my own.
Mar 31, 2016 Jenn rated it really liked it
This was the third chapter book I've read with my 4 year old, and so far, the best. While I didn't love the story as much as Charlotte's Web (the one we read just before this), this was a great chapter book for a young child. There are simple, black and white pictures on almost every page and the story is easy to follow. The chapters (and the book) are quite short. We read a chapter every night and finished in a week and a half or so. The day we finished, my daughter asked if we could read it ag ...more
Jul 06, 2010 Richelle rated it really liked it
Published in the 1940's, this little chapter book has been around for years. I've read it a couple of times before at school, but this time around with my five-year-old busy buddy. He really got into it and didn't want to stop. There are quite a few black and white illustrations to hold the attention of the younger set. Elmer Elevator takes a trip to wild island with a backpack full of an interesting assortment of items that turn out to be exactly what he needs in his encounters with wild beasts ...more
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Ruth Stiles Gannett wrote My Father's Dragon just a few years after her graduation from Vassar College in 1944.

She lives in Upstate New York.

More about Ruth Stiles Gannett...

Other Books in the Series

My Father's Dragon (3 books)
  • Elmer and the Dragon (My Father's Dragon, #2)
  • The Dragons of Blueland (My Father's Dragon, #3)

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